A cure for HIV/AIDS is the ultimate goal of rapidly advancing research involving diverse and innovative approaches. A comprehensive collection of articles describing the broad scope and current status of this global effort is published in a special issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
In the Commentary "How to Cure AIDS: Feeling the Elephant", Guest Editor David Margolis, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, states, "The breadth and diversity of reports found in the issue reflect the many domains of investigation that must be brought to bear to solve challenges of persistent HIV infection, and provide one of the critical missing tools needed to end the worldwide AIDS pandemic."
HIV latency, in which reservoirs of virus persist despite effective antiretroviral therapy and are able to hide from existing anti-HIV drugs and the body's immune defenses, is one of the greatest remaining challenges to achieving a cure. Guochun Jiang and Satya Dandekar, University of California, Davis, discuss the potential of one emerging "shock-and-kill" strategy to eradicate latent viral reservoirs in the Review article "Targeting NF-κB Signaling with Protein Kinase C Agonists As an Emerging Strategy for Combating HIV Latency".
Zelda Euler and Galit Alter, Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), present another latency reversal approach that uses "killer" monoclonal antibody-based drugs that can seek out and eliminate replication-competent HIV in combination with agents able to flush the virus out of its hiding places. The authors describe this novel strategy in the Review article "Exploring the Potential of Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics for HIV-1 Eradication".
"The HIV research community is turning its attention to a goal that seemed unimaginable not so long ago, the development of a cure for HIV/AIDS," says Thomas Hope, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. "To support that effort, we are focusing the first issue of 2015 on HIV cure related research and making the work available free to researchers and the public alike."
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The Special Issue on HIV Cure Research is available free on the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses website.